Austin Product Liability Attorneys

Making a new invention, for many inventors, is an exciting time. Dreams of success both financially and creatively consume many young inventors lives as they try to patent and produce a new product for the masses. But, with each new product, comes a mountain of newfound responsibility.

Often times, many young inventors rush their products out the door without proper testing. This leads to a lower quality of product that not only is faulty, but could also be dangerous to the consumer. And even a single personal injury claim against a young company could cripple it, causing you to spend money you don't have to fix the faulty product and handle litigation fees.

An Austin product liability lawyer can help defend you and your company from any allegations of wrongdoing should a case be filed against you. These specialized lawyers will know how to deal with government regulatory agencies that might find fault in your product, as well as consumers. A product liability lawyer will know the step by step process necessary in making a product and how it my affect your liability.

Many products are made in factories in different countries, beyond the steady control of the inventor or business owner's that originally designed the product. It is important for any product liability attorney to know where, when and who is building your products to find where the product went wrong. For example, the factories and warehouses that assembled your product might have assembled it poorly, and should be found at fault.

A product liability lawyer will also be able to deal with the governmental regulatory entities that might be interested in how your product works. All of these government bodies have strict regulatory code to abide by, and a good product liability lawyer will know how those codes affect your product and your business. Keeping up with these codes could mean the difference between rolling out your product with no consequence and having to recall it based on perceived violations of newly amended regulatory code.

If the line of manufacturing is competent, and all of the regulations satisfied you have limited your liability in two very important areas. Still, we live in a progressively litigious society, and a consumer might file suit regardless of whether or not they are in the right.

What is a Dangerous or Defective Product?

A dangerous product is any item that poses an unreasonably dangerous risk of serious bodily harm or death to the consumer who uses the product as it was intended. At Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, we have litigated dangerous product claims including the following:

These items, along with many more, were determined to have had either a design or manufacturing defect, or had inadequate or ineffective warnings of certain foreseeable risks that led to serious injuries and substantial compensation for our clients.

What are the Types of Product Defects?

Defective Design

A design defect is a flaw in the design, even if the product was manufactured according to specifications. It can be a failure to include a safety device, failure to make a vehicle moderately protective during the event of an accident, or a number of other instances where the idea and implementation of design for a product actually fell short at the consumer's expense. You generally have to prove that a safer design was available or could have been made at a reasonable cost and been of equal practical benefit for its intended use.

Nearly every different field, industry, or scenario, could be involved in a defective design claim. In a medical device or hip or knee implant case, it's been proven that poorly designed internal prosthetics can actually cause serious bodily injuries. In a SUV, a design flaw resulted in the vehicle being prone to roll-over accidents. In these cases, the product was dangerous no matter how well it was assembled. The defect was inherent in the design.

Defect in Manufacturing Process

A manufacturing defect is a flaw in the production or assembly process. The product could have been safely designed but a mistake or error led to the item being unreasonably dangerous. It is considered defective if the product departed from the intended design. In this case, you need not prove the manufacturer was negligent, only that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer.

Failure to Warn

In medical device cases or drug defect claims, there are often contentions that the seller or manufacturer failed to disclose certain known risks or complications to certain users of the device or drug. The seller, designer, and manufacturer, all have a duty to adequately advertise a product so that it is used safely and as intended and to warn of foreseeable dangers.

Unsafe recommendations or ill-advised encouragement to certain consumers to use the product, such as toys for certain age groups, may render the seller legally liable.

Product Liability Negligence

Negligence remains an integral part of product liability law. If the plaintiff is to use negligence as the basis for the claim, the following elements must be proven:

  • There is a duty owed by the manufacturer to the plaintiff.
  • The duty was breached by the manufacturer.
  • The breach of duty caused the injury sustained by the plaintiff.
  • The breach of duty also contributed to the injury sustained by the plaintiff.
  • There are actual damages sustained by the plaintiff because of the manufacturer's negligence.

In a product liability case, the law expects manufacturers, distributors and sellers to exercise a reasonable amount of care, and the failure to do such can sway the cause to the plaintiff's favor.

However, a plaintiff also needs to be able to prove a two-part causation: that if it wasn't for the defendant's negligence, the injury would not have occurred; and that the defendant could have anticipated and foreseen the potential risks of the product (during manufacturing).

Tortious Misrepresentation

A product liability suit can also be filed if there is false, misleading or deceptive information that is given by the product's manufacturer. When an individual relies on this information and ends up being harmed upon using the product (for its intended use), then he or she may file charges and claim damages. Tortious misrepresentation can occur when:

  • A person is aware that the statement is untrue, and willfully intends to mislead or misinform the plaintiff by saying the statement. This is known as deceit or fraudulent misrepresentation.
  • A person is negligent in checking whether a statement is true or false, and still makes the statement anyway. This is known as negligent misrepresentation.

Strict liability - where so long as the statement is made by the manufacturer and the plaintiff ends up being injured even when the product was used for its intended purpose.


A warranty is defined as the guarantee that the plaintiff receives upon purchasing a product. If the manufacturer or seller makes statements about the quality of the product and ends up being of less quality than what was stated, then a breach of warranty could be brought up. There are two types of implied warranties:

  • Merchantability
  • Fitness for a particular purpose

The warranty of merchantability means that the seller promises that the product is being sold in excellent working condition, and that it will do what it is intended to. The warranty of fitness for a particular purpose means that the seller promises that the information he or she gives about how the product is to be used is correct.

Strict Liability

Under strict liability, a manufacturer will be held liable for any defects in the product as it was manufactured, regardless if they exercised reasonable care or not.

Products That Are Unavoidably Unsafe

There are prescription drugs that are deemed as unavoidably safe, in which they cannot be completely free of danger regardless of how safely they are manufactured. These kinds of drugs have their own benefits, but may be harmful without proper warning. However, if they are accompanied by the right warnings, customers usually are not able to form a lawsuit around it, because of the risks that he or she should have known.

The Duty To Warn

When a drug causes expected side effects to occur, then a drug manufacturer has a duty to give warnings, but not as much when it comes to unprecedented dangers. Oftentimes, the manufacturer passes on this responsibility to the pharmacist or the prescribing doctor. Drug manufacturers are considered the experts in the field of drugs and medicine, and they are expected to stay on track and updated with the latest information in order to update medical professionals when it comes to the potential side effects of their products that had not been discovered previously.

Time Lapse

There are drug-related injuries in which the plaintiff is no longer able to pinpoint the supplier or manufacturer of the drug in question because time has passed in which the evidence is no longer retrievable or available, such as the case when the drug was taken during pregnancy. In these cases, the effects of the drugs may not manifest until the child has grown.

About the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act

This was enacted in order to give remedy to those who were injured because of immunizations received during childhood, so there is no more need for a tedious and lengthy litigation, which is also often expensive. As such, clients will have to be informed of this by their lawyers in the event that their case falls under the category - in which they can recover damages through the act instead.

The Most Common Vehicle Defects (And What You Can Do About It)

Air Bag

Air bags are installed in order to provide protection to the car user. In the event that the car crashed into something and the air bag failed to deploy, someone can surely get injured. Another airbag defect is it deploys without warning. The person in front of it can surely encounter head or facial injuries. This may seem like a simple manufacturing glitch but the detrimental effects it may have for people is surely devastating.

Braking Systems

We all know that this is one safety equipment of a car. In the event that ABS, hydraulic reservoir, fluid leaks or brake lines has malfunctioned, it may lead to serious accidents which may result to serious injuries or even, death. Brakes play an important role in securing the safety of the car owner. This is why this must be checked on a regular basis.

Fuel Systems

When you think about how combustion engine works, you will surely be delighted by it. However, you may also feel fear once you discover that it uses highly flammable liquids in order to run. A failure in this type of system may allow these fluids to explode. This is a serious matter that you need to address.

Seat Belt

When seat belts fail to restrain passengers, injuries and death may take place. This is why it is best that you check out these supposedly safety features when buying a car.

Steering Accessories

This type of accessories is what you need to direct your car to wherever you wish to go. When these fail, there is no way that you can be able to drive your car properly and safely. Problems that usually take place with this car part include locking of steering components and electrical issues.

Austin Product Liability Attorney

An effective product liability lawyer will help mediate these personal claims and be savvy enough to deal with any perceived public fallout (should the media cause a stir). Often lawyers will be forced to weigh the damages to public image, versus the monetary damages litigation might cause. With their help, product liability lawyers will weigh the possible outcomes and help you choose what's best for your company. Contact us today for a free consultation.